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A computer is an electronic device that receives or accepts data through as input device, and processing the data into meaningful information and send as a result through as output device. Either soft copy or hard copy. It operates on three basic principles: INPUT, PROCESS AND OUPTPUT. A computer may also be defined as a device that works under the control of stored programs, automatically accepting, storing and processing data into.

A computer is a programmable machine. It allows the user to store all sorts of information and then ‘process’ that information, or data, or carry out actions with the information, such as calculating numbers or organising words.

What is Processing:       Processing: is the act of converting data into the desired form. Processing  operations are determined by programs stored in the computer system. Programs are instructions written in a computer language that determines the task to be executed/carried out on data. Processing in the computer is the same as in humans except that it is much faster than humans.

What is Data?                Data is referred to as the basic facts about the activities of a business or personal information that needs to be worked on or processed. Data are entered into the computer through the input device.

What is Information?             Information is the end result of processing, or it is the collection of processed data. Information is obtained by assembling items of data into a meaningful form e.g. payroll, invoice, financial statement/reports etc.

Computer:            A machine that can receive and store information and change or process it.


The Parts a Computer

1.                 The Computer

2.                 The Monitor

3.                 The Mouse

4.                 The Floppy Diskette Drive

5.                 The CD-ROM Drive

6.                 Peripherals

The Actual Computer

Your "computer" is a collection of devices that function as a unit.  The most basic collection includes a Computer CPU, a Monitor, a Keyboard, and a Mouse.   The Computer CPU is normally a rectangular box that sits on your desktop (called a "Desktop Case") or next to your knee under the desk (called a "Tower Case").  The computer's CPU is actually a small electronic device inside the case but the term is often used to refer to the whole collection of electronics inside the box.

The Monitor

The Computer Monitor is the computer user's window into the workings of the computer.  It consists of a television picture tube that had been modified to accept the type of video signal created by the computer's electronics.  Conventional televisions can be used as computer monitors if a translation device is used to connect them.  The picture quality leaves something to be desired.

The Keyboard

The Keyboard is the primary input device used to communicate with the computer.  A computer keyboard closely resembles a conventional typewriter keyboard with the addition of numerous keys that are used specifically for computing functions.   

The Mouse

Named for the resemblance of the wire coming out of it and a mouse's tail, the mouse was introduced to computing in the early 1980's when Macintosh created its graphical user interface (GUI).  The mouse is another input device used to point at objects on the computer monitor and select them.  Using the mouse and keyboard in combination allows the computer user substantial latitude in how to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

The Floppy Diskette Drive

Once the most advanced of storage devices, floppy diskettes are normally used a temporary storage containers or transportation media for data.  A standard floppy diskette can hold 1.44 MB of computer data.  This amounts to a rather large number of pages if translated to the paper standard for textual information.   Computer diskettes are not as reliable or fast as the internal storage drives on the computer.  They are also the primary vector of virus infection in the computer world.

The CD-ROM Drive

This modern miracle gained prominence in the late 1980's and has become the primary distribution medium for software to consumers.  The Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) disk itself is a collection of concentric circles containing millions of pits and plateaus which correspond to on/off bits of data.   The disk is read with an optical laser similar to the one used to scan your groceries at the supermarket.  Most disks of this kind are "Read Only" meaning that the computer can retrieve information from the disk, but cannot place information on it.  New developments have improved this technology to allow writing and rewriting data to the disk.  A different kind of hardware mechanism is needed to employ this innovation.

Computer Peripherals

Computer peripherals are any electronic devices that can be hooked up to a computer other than the standard input-output devices (monitor, keyboard, mouse). Peripheral devices include speakers, microphones, printers, scanners, digital cameras, plotters, and modems.  Peripherals often require special software packages called "drivers".  These drivers are usually included with the peripheral at purchase time.



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